Fresh Power Lights the Hopscotch Torch, iGEM 2023 Grand Jamboree Goes Back to Innovation

iGEM, an international tournament, can be said to export a large amount of talent and resources for the development of synthetic biology on a global scale.

Over the past 20 years, iGEMers in 66 countries and regions around the world; more than 4300 synthetic biology projects and proofs of concept have been presented at iGEM; more than 20,000 synthetic biology-specific DNA fragments have been shared; more than 75,000 participants have been baptized with synthetic biology expertise; and more than 200+ startups have gotten their beginnings here, quietly influencing the future development.

This year, the 2023 Grand Jamboree produced an unprecedented 190 gold, 142 silver and 28 bronze medals.

The event also featured 11 Village Awards and 19 Special Prizes, covering a wide range of cutting-edge fields such as biomanufacturing, artificial intelligence, climate crisis, food and nutrition, environmental protection, diagnostic therapies, etc. Dozens of teams from China returned home fully loaded.

Of these, the final Grand Prize went to a team from McGill University in Canada. Their design of modular components is expected to facilitate the development of novel therapies for pan-cancer species and indeed all diseases that spread via RNA, primarily by using the newly discovered CRISPR system, Craspase, to direct engineered cell necrosis to eliminate cancer cells.

In fact, Ecotron Bio and iGEM have also been connected for a long time.

Back in 2016, Zhiqian Zhang, Founder and CEO of Tidetron Bioworks, participated in iGEM as a representative of Chinese students during his undergraduate years and won the Grand Final Gold Medal, Best Therapeutic Project Award, and Best Emerging Group Biology Module Award, and then three years later was invited to serve as a judge at the iGEM event.

Thanks to iGEM, Zhang Zhiqian is more determined to use synthetic biology to disrupt the previous production methods, through a "cell factory" to influence industrial change.

He initiated synthetic biology research innovation and industrial practice, and established Ecotron Bio in 2021 to build a synthetic biology platform to iterate green production and supply, and create a low-carbon sustainable future.

At the Grand Jamboree, Dr. Yirui Wu, the Chief Scientist of Ecotronics, also brought the company's platform development practice: "We have gradually expanded and perfected the technology, production, products and market segments of the synthetic biology platform, and taken the lead in realizing the integration of R&D, production and marketing, as well as the layout of the whole industrial chain, which is open for the cooperation of upstream technology research and development and downstream industrialization with the research community and industry to promote the high-quality development of the industry together. We can open up the cooperation between upstream technology research and development and downstream industrialization, and promote the high-quality development of the industry by connecting the scientific research community and the industry together."

In conjunction with the 20th anniversary, this year's Grand Jamboree featured the Responsibility Conference, the Bioinnovation Fair, the Career Fair, and other diverse activities in addition to the opening ceremony and tournament program.

At the talent exchange meeting, the youthful vigor and innovation of Strike Bio also attracted the attention of many iGEMers.

At present, Tidetroner is dominated by post-90s and post-95s, of which the R&D team consists of more than 70 people, mostly from domestic and foreign well-known universities or scientific research units, including the National University of Singapore, City University of Hong Kong, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan University and so on. Among them, there are more than 10 with doctoral degrees, and the overall master's degree and above has accounted for more than 50%, the talent team's scientific research level and ability to continue to improve.

As one of the world's first synthetic biotechnology platform companies to realize multi-substance mass production, Striker welcomes more iGEMers and industry elites to join us in exploring the unlimited potential of synthetic biotechnology and working together to "Growing Everything, Synthesizing the Future".

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